Health and Family Services Cabinet
Madison County Group Receives Award for Elder Abuse Prevention
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 18, 2013) – A Richmond community group has received an award from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to help its efforts to stop elder abuse.
CHFS presented the Public Awareness Initiative award for $250 to the Madison County Council for Elder Maltreatment Prevention (CEMP) at a conference focusing on elder abuse prevention last month.
Pam Cotton, director of the Division of Protection and Permanency within the CHFS Department for Community Based Services, attended the conference and said that local efforts like CEMP are making a difference for Kentucky’s senior citizens.
“CEMP is a great example of how smaller organizations can make a big impact through their efforts. I commend the group for setting such an example of awareness and prevention,” she said. “DCBS staff work closely with our partners in every county to protect our elder population from abuse, neglect and financial traps. The work that they are doing will educate the community and may save lives.”
CEMP is one of the state’s network of 26 Local Coordinating Councils on Elder Abuse (LCCEAs), which covers 98 counties.
Last year, CEMP raised more than $5,000 for awareness activities, primarily through a silent auction and annual bowling event.
CEMP’s community involvement over the past year includes feeding more than 100 seniors a spaghetti meal, promoting elder abuse prevention with a local billboard and providing holiday cheer at both area senior citizen centers with bingo prizes and doing home visits with 20 homebound seniors. For Elder Abouse Month in May, the group displayed light pole banners along Richmond’s Main Street to promote awareness.
The group also hosted its annual “Issues Affecting the Elderly” forum, with more than 120 attendees. Members of local law enforcement, social services staff and medical experts participated.
The elder abuse prevention conference last month was an annual gathering to recognize the work of the LCCEAs.
CHFS provides administrative support to the LCCEAs, which provide elder abuse education and outreach at the local and regional levels depending on the needs of the communities. Kentucky’s network involves local law enforcement, county officials, advocates, nursing homes, local businesses, social service agencies and individuals. They share a common goal of ending abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly in their communities by offering specific advocacy, outreach and prevention strategies.
Kentucky received 18,459 calls to report abuse, neglect and exploitation of people age 60 and older for state fiscal year 2013.
In Kentucky, reporting suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation is the law, and it’s confidential. The toll-free reporting hotline is 877 KYSAFE1.
Kentuckians can help the fight against elder abuse by becoming involved with their LCCEAs. Membership is free and open to anyone interested in working to prevent elder abuse in his or her community.
To become involved with your community’s LCCEA or to inquire about events, contact state LCCEA liaison Stacy Carey at 502-564-7043.
Get more information about the councils and recognizing the signs of elder abuse online at chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/eaa/.
Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse
If you believe an elderly person is being abused, neglected or exploited, call 877-KYSAFE1 (877-597-2331), the state’s abuse hotline. If you believe there is imminent risk, immediately call 911 or local law enforcement.
Learn to recognize the following signs of neglect and abuse.
Obvious malnutrition, dehydration
Dirty and uncombed hair; dirty and torn or climate-inappropriate clothes; or offensive body odor
Lack of glasses, dentures or hearing aid, or lack of medical care
Recent suffering or loss of spouse, family members or close friends
Frequent injuries such as bruises, burns, broken bones; explanation of the injury seems unrealistic
Multiple bruises in various stages of healing, particularly bruises on inner arms or thighs
Experiences pain when touched
Loss of bowel and bladder control
Never leaves the house or allows visitors
Never mentions family or friends
Evidence of sexually transmitted disease
Irritation or injuries to the mouth, genitals or anus
Upset when changed or bathed
Fearful of a particular person
Loss of bowel and bladder control
Isolated from family and friends
Sudden dramatic change in behavior, appearing withdrawn, depressed, hesitant to talk openly
Caregiver won’t let victim speak for herself or himself
Caregiver scolds, insults, threatens victim
Unusual activity in bank account; sudden large withdrawals, expenditures that are not consistent with past financial history
Use of automated teller machines (ATM) when the person has no history of using ATMs or cannot walk
A recent will, when the person seems incapable of writing a will
Rights signed away on legal papers without understanding what the papers mean
Unpaid bills, such as house payment, rent, taxes or utilities
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.